Customer Reviews for

London

Average Rating 4.5
( 55 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(0)

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 12, 2001

    Incredible!

    This is the best way to learn about British history. Moreover, you'll feel you've spent a few intense days in this historical city. The book traces the progression of six London families through the changing face of London through 2,000 years. Each chapter introduces new characters and events, so the narrative never grows cold. The chapters could nearly stand alone as short stories, but each triumph and adventure leaves you hungry for the next. Be prepared, however, to put 'the present' on hold for several days. You won't want to put this one down.

    7 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2009

    Solid historical novel.

    This work, while not Rutherfurd's best effort, is none-the-less a solid effort. If you love history, you'll love this book. The main problem I have with the book is that the exposition overwhelms all other aspects of the novel. In historical epics one expects lots of exposition, but when it gets to the point that the characters actions and dialogues are squeezed off the page to make room for the author's observations it gets to be a bit heavy. That is the reason I scored this book as a four-star overall rather than a five. Some of the characters I thought were very well done--when allowed to act out their parts on the page. The plots of each individual story were mostly okay, except for the times that the author chose to tell us, rather than let the characters show us. But all in all, a good book.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 4, 2003

    A good, long, thoroughly engrossing read!

    My adult niece gave me Rutherfurd¿s second book, RUSSKA, as a Christmas gift several years ago. I enjoyed it so much that I went looking for SARUM, and I¿ve since purchased his two more recent books. As I write this review, I have put THE FOREST aside for awhile because Rutherfurd¿s works can be overwhelming to read one after another. LONDON¿s twenty-one self-contained tales begin in 54 B.C., and follow several families through often intertwining generations until 1997. We¿re there when each acquires its surname. We watch as those surnames change; as fortunes are made and lost; as respectability and social status wax and wane, for those who come to call themselves 'Bull' and 'Ducket,' 'Doggett' and 'Silversleeves,' 'Meredith' and 'Barnikel.' Each story carries the unique flavor of the era depicted, and each deals with that time period¿s defining events. I¿ve heard Rutherfurd compared to James A. Michener, and with that I certainly agree. Both writers concentrate on a particular geographic area, and tell the story of that area¿s people over a grand sweep of time. However, I do not see Rutherfurd¿s characters (or Michener¿s, for that matter) as figures sketched in for the storyteller¿s convenience. Each major character in the pages of LONDON is created in enough carefully chosen detail to take on individual life. I particularly enjoyed meeting such colorful figures as 'Dame Barnikel,' who founded a dynastic brewery in a time when most married women controlled no property; the Doggett sisters, twin prostitutes with far more respectable descendants; and Helen Meredith, aristocratic ambulance driver during the Blitz. A great deal of background for each tale is presented to the reader in narrative, 'telling instead of showing' format; but Rutherfurd¿s alternative would have been writing twenty-one novels, because each of his self-contained chapters contains enough material for a complete book. His work feels more condensed than Michener¿s, and that undoubtedly is why. What these two epic writers have in common is their storytelling¿s richness. LONDON supplied me with a good, long, thoroughly engrossing read!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2013

    Wonderful!

    As an English-born American, I thought I knew English history. This book not only provides a fascinating story of several fictional families from the time of the druids through the 20th century, the historically-accurate facts add a richness to the book. Recommended for any lover of historically-accurate fiction.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 10, 2012

    Draws you in

    Well worth the read; an entertaining way to learn bits of history

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2012

    Wonderful Historical Fiction!

    After many trips to England and falling in love with London I find my self leaning toward being an Anglophile! This book gave me insight into so many places I had been in London. knowing how those names and how those places came to be has really made this book special to me. I am definitely a fan of Edward Rutherfurd having read his book, NEW YORK first and found the same wonderful stories and characters that wind through the generations from the beginning to the end. If historical fiction is your read you will enjoy his books. I found myself staying up late many nights as his books fascinating.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 9, 2011

    Wonderful

    I started reading this while in London. It was interesting to be in the places in the book while reading about them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 9, 2009

    London is a fascinating read

    London is now one of the best books I have ever read. The fact that London covers such a long time period was new to me, but now I think I rather like this idea. However, the down side to having such a long time period is the massive amount of characters. With last names like Ducket and Dogget, it was rather easy for me to confuse families, names, and history. The cast list in the beginning was help, but with so many supporting characters, it was not enough. Even with this, the plot that varied by chapters was rather fun.

    Another thing I liked was the way Rutherfurd incoporated historical events, like Handel and the buring of London. This gave the book accuarcy and gave insight to the time period. I also liked how Rutherfurd varied the social status of his characters. It was fascinating to read how very different living conditions could vary from place to place. I just wish the book had focused just a little more on the 1700s.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 1, 2005

    Outstanding story of History in novel form

    The characters through the centuries combined with archeology details of buildings, roads, artifacts used along with civic lessons on early basis of law is fascinating. I love discovering roots of capitalism, and London, with the establishment of contract laws and land ownership, became the basis for America's legal code for property ownership, contracts and owner rights which are foundations of owning, lending, using and creating capital for the betterment of a society. This sweeping view from Roman settlement, Saxon conquest, Tudor, Victorian and correlated influences of Vikings, Celts, Normandy, etc. plus the influences of the Roman Church, Crusades, and on and on is truly a joy for someone wanting a broad sweep of when and why London came to be the center of the British colonial Empire. Also inspires thought of connections of America's colonists and their backgrounds and understanding of tradition, code and conduct which eventually shaped the American nation.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 28, 2004

    London- an Instrumental Text in my Humanities Course in Brit. Lit. and Histroy

    I am a teacher in a Brookyln High School. I have used this text as a basis for an in-depth study of British History and Literature and as an inspiration for a geneological research undertaking I have my students do. The time-sweeping novel is gripping, informative, as well as sophisticated in its story-telling. I recommend it to anyone who has the time.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2000

    Make London Your Home

    I just finished my reading of this marvelous novel, and am ready to begin again! Edward Rutherfurd will make you feel as if you are on a stroll through time, taking you into some of the most memorable events of the British empire. You will also learn intriguing information on how many customs of English civilization were developed. If you would like to make the history of one of the world's most fascinating cities come to life, DO NOT MISS this engrossing and engaging work. You will come away feeling that London is your home!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 19, 2000

    WOW

    This novel blew me away. From page one, I was hooked. It took me a mere four days to finish this monster of a book for the simple fact that I couldn't put it down. As an American who is fascinated with everything British, Rutherford made my desire to move there more acute. If you want a detailed historical account of London with an incredible storyline to go with it, this book is for you.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2000

    interesting and imaginative

    great story and a look into what life might have been like in London through out 2000 years.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 22, 2013

    highly entertaining

    rutherfurd tells the history of london through the centuries as seen by five families. as he did with sarum, he weaves a seamless narrative that continues throughout the ct's rich history.

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Good, not as good as Paris

    I think Mr. Rutherfurd tried to mimic Michener on this book. A little more tedious than Paris. Still a good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2012

    Anyone who is enamoured by London should read this!

    Yes, this book is long, yes, there are places in the book that are dull, but, it's so rich with history, the stories so interesting. I love the way Rutherford follows the lineage of one distinctive character from before the birth of London to the more developed London of the 19th century.

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  • Posted August 6, 2012

    I stopped reading this book after only a few chapters. I wasn't

    I stopped reading this book after only a few chapters. I wasn't thrilled about the chronological chapters that continuously introduced new characters; there was nobody that I cared about enough to continue reading.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 31, 2012

    Not what I expected

    As the reviewer states, this truly is a "tour de force", but I found the stories more irritating than illuminating.

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  • Posted May 22, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    I enjoyed reading this book which was a pleasant read, but also informative. It covers a lot of historical major events in a personal way as it effects the families you become familiar with.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2012

    GREAT READ

    This is great book for those of us who are addicted to British history and the city of London. The stories are very memorable and the history provides many "aha" moments as we discover the origin of many English words and the how the London neighborhood names were derived.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 55 Customer Reviews
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